In the wake of revelations regarding confidential expenditures, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte issued a scathing response to ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro’s consideration of Duterte’s impeachment. “I hope she relishes the prospect of my impeachment. Enjoy,” remarked Duterte, challenging the lawmaker.
During a budgetary hearing for the Commission on Audit (COA), Gamaliel Cordoba, the COA’s chairperson, disclosed that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) declared P125 million as confidential expenses in 2022. Castro has since sought clarification, questioning how Duterte’s office was able to incur such expenses without congressional authorization.
Castro insisted that due to the lack of congressional approval, the general rule preventing the public disclosure of confidential funds’ usage should not be applicable in this scenario. She emphasized, “We demand that the OVP offer a comprehensive public account of how the P125 million was utilized.”
Highlighting the potential numerous violations regarding the use of the confidential fund – which was not a part of the 2022 General Appropriations Act – Castro informed the Inquirer that the Makabayan bloc might consider filing an impeachment against the Vice President. “The source and allocation of these funds are extremely dubious. We’ll consider impeachment once our investigations are thorough,” Castro stated.
Castro further revealed that the House appropriations committee has already tasked COA with delivering a report detailing the OVP’s confidential 2022 funds. The three-member Makabayan bloc is currently awaiting this document.
At a press conference last Friday, Castro reiterated her commitment to upholding the law. “We’ll examine potential accountability measures should any legal breaches be identified,” she said, emphasizing that misuse of public resources, technical malversation, and violations of the 1987 Constitution could warrant impeachment proceedings. “All government officials are obligated to adhere to the Constitution,” she concluded.